Recently, my father came across an old article written by my mother when our family was doing mission work in Cameroon (West Africa) way back in 1982. While their work was across the continent from where we will be, many of her sentiments would still apply to our lives in Tanzania. I thought you might enjoy her perspective.
The Blessings of Being in Africa
by Teresa Gaines
"Many times when people think of Africa, they think about the hard times people have in comprison to the lifestyle we know in America. They think about diseases conquered in America such as polio and malaria which still kill thousands of children here before they reach the age of five. Yet, there is another side to the story. I want to tell you about the blessings that come from living in Africa.
"On this warm, sunny February day, the first thing I think about when thinking of America is the cold weather you are enduring. The temperature here doesn't vary much the year round. As long as we are able to water our garden during the dry season, we can grow vegetables any time of the year. There is a plantation about 25 miles from Bamenda where we can go to buy all kinds of fresh vegetables.
"This part of Cameroon is blessed with more than wonderful climate and beautiful mountain scenery. Cameroonians are a very friendly people. We are greeted by everyone we meet as we pass on the road. They show warm and friendly hospitality when we visit them in their homes. They are ready and willing to help when it is needed.
"It is easy to discuss the Bible with Cameroonians. People here don't have the inhibitions many Americans have about discussing religious matters. We can stand beside the road and sign people up for Bible Correspondence Courses. People here are eager to read anything we hand out to them. That is why tracts are good teaching resources. It is not easy to convert them, but at least they don't slam a door in our faces.
"This is not home to us and there are many things we miss about our life in the U.S.A. But the living and working conditions here are pleasant. We need your prayers and support. And the Cameroonians do, too. Please pray for them that they may receive the gospel with an open mind and that New Testament Christians can always be free to preach the word in Cameroon."
John and Teresa Gaines with their son, Daniel (i.e. Me)